Call for Proposals for Edited Volume: Queer Contemporary Art of Southwest Asia and North Africa

deadline for submissions: 
May 15, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Intellect Books
contact email: 

Drs. Anne Marie Butler (Kalamazoo College) and Sascha Crasnow (University of Michigan) invite contributions for consideration to be published in an edited volume on queer visual art from the South West Asia North Africa reigon and its diaspora. The book, tentatively titled Queer Contemporary Art of Southwest Asia and North Africa: Beyond Borders and Binaries, will be published open access in the Critical Studies in Architecture of the Middle East series from Intellect Books, which is edited by Drs. Christiane Gruber (University of Michigan) and Mohammad Gharipour (Morgan State University). The forward will be contributed by Dr. Gayatri Gopinath (New York University). 

This volume will present new perspectives on queer visual culture in the South West Asia North Africa (SWANA) region from queer artists as well as scholars who work on queer themes that emerge within visual art and culture, and scholarship that uses queer lenses. Perhaps because queerness is often thought to be an anathema to the SWANA region and because queer people must sometimes prioritize their safety over visibility, queer visual culture from the SWANA region has not yet been comprehensively presented for a wide audience. With contributions from both scholars and artists, this volume demonstrates that queer visual culture in the SWANA region is not only extant, but is also entering an era of exciting growth in terms of its versatility and consciousness. 

The volume will also focus on artworks produced in the contemporary era while recognizing historical and contextual connections to Islamic art and culture within localities and regions from the pre-modern and modern eras. By framing this volume as unambiguously located within queer studies, the editors challenge existing literature that merely includes some examples of queer studies or queer representation, but does not necessarily use queer studies as a lens through which to engage with visual culture and/or with the SWANA region. Because this volume uses queer studies as its primary lens, it offers new pathways into an undeveloped academic area, that of queer SWANA studies. Such pathways establish that queer visual culture from the region is multifaceted and complex. The editors anticipate that the contributing artists and scholars will demonstrate how queerness interacts with ideas about gender and gender expression, religion, the body, family, the state, among others, thereby highlighting how queer studies is of import to any study of the lived realities of people and artists in the SWANA region.

Along with the intersections of queer studies and lived realities, this volume is interdisciplinary and intersectional. The editors welcome proposals from different disciplines, including Gender Studies, Art History, English, and Area Studies. Proposals that use a variety of methodologies drawn from social sciences and the humanities, as well as artists who work in a variety of mediums, such as performance, photography, installation, sculpture, and drawing, are welcome. 

The editors seek scholarly contributions, co-authored proposals, proposals from artists, hybrid proposals, proposals for interviews or other non-scholarly entries, and proposals that consider mediums such as painting, drawing, installation, video art, photography, performance, ceramics, or mixed media (we are not seeking entries on film studies at this time).

Potential topics include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Masculinity, femininity, and non-binary gender expressions 

  • Artists/subjects that play with gender expressions and confrontations with normativity

  • Trans* visual culture

  • Intersectional sexuality 

  • Queer space and place in visual art

  • Heteronormativity, homosexuality, lesbian, and gay issues that use queer methods/theories

  • Queer aesthetics

  • Queer visual culture in religions

  • Queer visual culture in SWANA communities both regionally and abroad

  • The intersectionality of the queer experience with regard to hegemonic queer and non-queer identities

  • Other areas that use queer lenses to examine visual art 


Notes: This volume will undergo double blind peer review. Any scholarly work involving human subjects must be in compliance with all policies, regulations, and laws applicable to the protection of human subjects in research. If you have questions about compliance with these requirements, you should consult with your home institution’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). We seek only original, never before published work. 


Please submit a 300-400 word abstract or proposal, along with a current CV, by May 15, 2021, to and 


Full submissions of accepted proposals will be due September 15, 2021. Scholarly chapters should be between 6,000-7,000 words. Space for other entries determined by proposal needs and in discussion with editors.